DigNation Festival 2020

13 - 14 June, Sudeley Castle

Enjoy history. Discover archaeology. Get TUDOR-LICIOUS!

DigNation is the world’s first history festival where YOU get to make history while you’re here. Launched by DigVentures and Sir Tony Robinson in 2018, this year’s festival is going totally TUDOR-LICIOUS!

DigNation Festival 2020 promises to be an unmissable celebration of the biggest, boldest and most exciting new developments in Tudor research.

Hear from headline historians, meet awesome archaeologists, unearth the remains of a long-lost Tudor garden, and enjoy fun-filled fringe events, all within the grounds of one of the Tudors’ most beloved palaces – Sudeley Castle.

Philippa Gregory
Beautiful grounds and gardens
Dr Anna Whitelock
The Virtual Festival
*LIVE* archaeology
New Tudor research

Following on from the smash hit, sell-out success of the inaugural DigNation festival in 2018 hosted by Sir Tony Robinson, this year’s lineup is being curated by DigVentures and Dr Anna Whitelock, Director of the London Centre for Public History and Heritage at Royal Holloway.

From big name personalities, to cutting edge researchers, you can expect to hear from some of the most enthralling speakers making waves in Tudor studies today.

Speakers include Estelle Parenque, Elizabeth Goldring, Michael Ohajuru, Anthony Musson, and Philippa Gregory, as well as representatives from the Mary Rose and the real Wolf Hall, who will cover themes like Tudor Crime, Tudor Intimacy, Tudor Women, and Tudor Power & Display.

And right at the heart of the festival, archaeologists will be unearthing the remains of a long-lost Tudor garden. You can stand by and watch the discoveries emerge, or get in and dig alongside our friendly archaeologists for a chance to make your very own Tudor discovery.

Plus, the whole thing is taking place on the 500th anniversary of one of the biggest Tudor gatherings in history – the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Surely there’s no better excuse to come along to a big, fat Tudor history festival than that?!

Whether you love the Tudors or are just fascinated by the work that historians and archaeologists do, this is your chance to spend a weekend with some of the best.

Sudeley Castle was one of the Tudors’ most beloved palaces, making it the perfect location to celebrate one of the biggest events in Tudor history.

For nearly a thousand years, Sudeley Castle has been home to some of England’s most famous monarchs, and we can see why: it’s GORGEOUS.

Today, it’s a wonderful place to visit, and to stroll among the very same grounds that Henry’s queens would once have enjoyed. It’s also the perfect place for a Tudor festival!

Starting with Goda, daughter of King Ethelred the Unready, the castle was later occupied by Richard III, who built its magnificent banqueting hall, and then by King Charles I, who made it his temporary base during the English Civil War.

But it was the Tudors who really made Sudeley their own:

it’s where Anne Boleyn stayed with Henry VIII while he made his decision to dissolve the monasteries, and most famously where Kateryn Parr, Henry’s last wife, later lived and was buried.

It’s also where, in 1592, Elizabeth I came to celebrate the anniversary of her victory over the Spanish Armada; a three-day party that nearly bankrupted her host, Lord Chandos, and is remembered as one of the longest in English royal history.

It’s also where, for the last two years, DigVentures has been unearthing the original Tudor gardens that Renaissance royalty enjoyed five centuries ago.

Nestled among the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, there couldn’t be a more perfect place to hold a festival celebrating what’s new, and what’s hot, in Tudor research.

And that, dear friends, is why we’ve chosen Sudeley Castle as the place to bring together the best Tudor historians, on the weekend of one of the biggest events in Tudor history.

DigNation Festival 2020 marks the 500th anniversary of one of the biggest events in Tudor history.

The Field of the Cloth of Gold was one of the biggest events in Tudor history, and the weekend of its 500th anniversary is the perfect time to celebrate the latest and greatest discoveries in Tudor research.

In June 1520, King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France arrived at a tournament field in Balinghem, France, on the very edge of the English territory around Calais.

They each brought thousands of their favourite courtiers, servants, and friends, and together spent two whole weeks enjoying huge feasts, dazzling clothes, music, games, tournaments, and a specially-constructed temporary palace spanning over 10,000 square meters.

The reason? To mark a new era in relations between the two powers.

Today, there are hundreds of brilliant historians and archaeologists working hard to push the frontiers of Tudor research, to develop new understandings of power, politics, and relationships.

This festival aims to celebrate their latest and greatest discoveries, and give a hand-picked selection of the most enthralling researchers to share their work with hundreds of eager Tudor enthusiasts around the world – and Sudeley Castle is the perfect place to do it.

What better excuse for a great, big Tudor celebration than that?!

Our hand-picked line-up of speakers includes some of the loveliest, most knowledgeable and downright fantastic historians and archaeologists we know.

We’re adding new speakers all the time, but we’ve already confirmed an amazing selection of the people, projects and themes at the cutting edge of Tudor research.

Want to hear more about Tudor Crime? What about Black Tudors? Tudor Women? And all the glitz and glamour of Tudor Power, Politics & Display? Don’t miss your chance to catch them at this year’s festival.

Day 1 - Saturday 13th June

🔴 Philippa Gregory // Chair, Tudor Women session

 

Dr Philippa Gregory is a top British historical fiction writer, author of the award-winning Other Boleyn Girl, White Queen, and many other novels focusing on Tudor personalities, history, and court life.

Now a recognised authority on women’s history, Philippa graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent and was made Alumna of the Year in 2009. She holds honorary degrees from Teesside University and the University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff and an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck University of London. Philippa is a member of the Society of Authors and in 2016, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award by the Historical Writers’ Association.  In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Platinum Award by Neilsen for achieving significant lifetime sales across her entire book output.

One of Philippa’s most notable books, The Naming of the Queen, is an intimate portrayal of Kateryn Parr, Henry VIII’s last Queen, who lived out her final days at Sudeley and is buried inside the chapel. Philippa has been a tremendous support to our ongoing archaeological research at the castle, and we’re so thrilled she will be joining us as one of our Headline Historians to chat about her new book and all things Tudor.

website: www.PhilippaGregory.com

 

🔴 Anna Whitelock // Festival Co-Organiser // Elizabeth's Bedfellows: An Intimate History of the Queen's Court

@AnnaWhitelock

DrAnna Whitelock is a historian, author and broadcaster. She is a Reader in Early Modern History and is Director of the London Centre for Public History and Heritage at Royal Holloway, University of London. Anna is a regular media commentator on the Tudors, the monarchy, royal bodies, royal succession, gender and politics as well as on public history and heritage. Anna regularly appears on news, current affairs and events broadcasts on television and radio as a royal expert, historical consultant and commentator.

🔴 Elizabeth Norton // Black Dogs and Newgate Birds: Tudor Crime and Punishment

@ENortonHistory

Dr Elizabeth Norton is a historian, specialising in the Tudor period. She has degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford Universities and a PhD from King’s College London, where she currently teaches early modern history. She is the author of twelve books, including The Lives of Tudor Women (Head of Zeus, 2016), The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor (Head of Zeus, 2015) and Catherine Parr (Amberley, 2010). She also regularly appears on television, including BBC1’s Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family and Channel 5’s Digging Up Britain’s Past.

🔴 Estelle Paranque // The Making of a Tudor Queen: Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici

@DrEstellePrnq

Dr Paranque is an historian with a special interest in Queenship, Royal, and Diplomatic Studies, Anglo-French relations during Elizabeth’s reign and Catherine de Medici and the Valois kings and their consorts. Estelle is Lecturer in Early Modern History, and has previously taught at King’s College London, University of Winchester and UCL. Estelle completed her PhD in Early Modern History at University College London in 2016. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Higher Education Academy. She is also a co-convenor of the Tudor and Stuart Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in London.

🔴 Michael Ohajaru // John Blanke: the Black Tudor Trumpeter

@WhoIsJohnBlanke

@michael1952

Michael Ohajaru holds honours degrees in Physics (Leeds University, 1974) and Art History (Open University, 2008). He is an Arts blogger who researches, writes and speaks on the Black presence in Renaissance Europe (www.BlackMagusBlog.com) . Currently, Michaeil is researching, developing and curating an exhibition and web site: Who is John Blanke ? The Black Trumpeter to the courts of Henry VII and VIII – focusing on how Art and Archives are connected (for more see JohnBlanke.com). Michael is along with, Dr Miranda Kaufmann, the co-convenor of the ‘What’s Happening in Black British History’ workshop series and network at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

🔴 And more!

We’re adding new speakers all the time. Plus there’ll be panel discussions, book signings, and loads of fun Fringe events for you to enjoy in the grounds of Sudeley Castle!

Day 2 - Sunday 14th June

🔵 Graham Bathe // The Real Wolfhall

@RealWolfhall

Graham Bathe has made a 20-year intensive study of the history of Savernake royal hunting forest, the Seymours and Wolfhall. He retired from 40 years in nature conservation, was chairman of Britain’s oldest conservation body – the Open Spaces Society, and is on the Council of the National Trust.

 

🔵 Alex Hildred // The Mary Rose: from Seabed to Showcase

@AHildred_MR

@MaryRoseTrust

Alexzandra Hildred is Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance and Human Remains at the Mary Rose Trust. Alex joined the project in 1979 as a graduate archaeologist and has since directed the site monitoring, survey and excavations which culminated in recovering the stem in 2005. She has researched and published the weapons of the ship, and has worked with the Royal Armouries manufacturing and firing full-scale copies of guns recovered. Alex has taught both at undergraduate and post graduate level and within the Nautical Archaeological Society training scheme. She was Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists Maritime Affairs Group and a member of the Government Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites.

🔵 Anthony Musson // Henry VIII on Tour: Tudor Palaces and Royal Progresses

Info coming soon!

🔵 Elizabeth Goldring // The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I

Dr. Elizabeth Goldring was previously Research Fellow in the University of Warwick’s Centre for the Study of the Renaissance and is now an Associate Fellow of both the Centre and Warwick’s History of Art Department. She is co-editor of two essay collections – The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I (Oxford University Press, 2007) and Court Festivals of the European Renaissance: Art, Politics and Performance (Ashgate, 2002). Elizabeth’s research is interdisciplinary, often straddling the boundaries between literature, history, and art history. Areas of particular interest include: 16th- and 17th- century court culture; England and the Continental Renaissance; portraiture and biography; and the reception of Tudor art and literature from the 17th century to the present day.

🔵 Glenn Richardson // The Field of the Cloth of Gold

Glenn is Professor of Early Modern History [in the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Science]  at St Mary’s University, Strawberry Hill, London. His main research areas are international political and cultural relations in the sixteenth century with particular reference to Anglo-French relations; monarchy and masculinity, royal and princely courts. In addition to journal articles and chapters in edited collections, his main publications to date are: The Field of Cloth of Gold (Yale UP, 2014), ‘The Contending Kingdoms’: France and England 1420-1700 (Ashgate, 2008), Renaissance Monarchy: The Reigns of Henry VIII, Francis I and Charles V (London, 2002) and Tudor England and its Neighbours [co-edited with Susan Doran] (2005). He has just completed a new biography of Cardinal Wolsey for Routledge due for publication in 2019 and his next research project is a new study of the court of Henry VIII.

🔵 And more!

We’re adding new speakers all the time. Plus there’ll be panel discussions, book signings, and loads of fun Fringe events for you to enjoy in the grounds of Sudeley Castle!

Fringe events - all weekend

⚫️ Archaeology + Garden Tours

Details coming soon!

⚫️ Book signings

Details coming soon!

⚫️ Follow-the-speaker

Details coming soon!

⚫️ Plus loads of Tudor-themed events!

Details coming soon!

Hello, lovely worldwide audience!

Let’s face it: we know there are Tudor-lovers across the world who might not be able to make it to a sleepy town in the middle of the UK, no matter how beautiful it might be.

We get it. Our solution is to extend the reach of DigNation to audiences unable to make it to Sudeley Castle, with Virtual Tickets!

DigVentures is always trying to find new ways to bring archaeology to as many people as possible. We can’t wait to see how using new technology and the Virtual Ticket experiment is going to help us to do this even better.

We’ll be livestreaming all of the headline speakers in the main tent for both days of the festival. There will also be extra special exclusive content, including live updates from the trenches, exclusive interviews with speakers, specially curated podcasts and video footage from the weekend, and a souvenir video.

We will also be using social media tools, such as twitter, Instagram and Facebook Live, throughout the weekend to bring you all the behind-the-scenes action, allowing audiences from around the world to be part of the action at DigNation in ways that wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago.

Plans are still underway to see just how much we can broadcast – we’ll do our absolute best to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

We will send out your Virtual Ticket logins in the first week of June 2020.

VERY IMPORTANT: We will send the logins to the email address you use to purchase your ticket. If this is not a current address or one that you check regularly, you MUST get in touch with our team prior to the event to provide updated information.

Going to miss some of the talks? Don’t worry – you’ll be able to re-watch the talks online once the festival is over.

If something interrupts the livestream, we will upload copies of any talks that were missed as soon as the internet is back up and running.

Right at the heart of the festival, there’s a real Tudor dig that you can be part of.

DigNation is the world’s first participatory festival for history and archaeology fans, and you really can help make history while you’re here. Our friendly team of archaeologists will be running a real, live excavation to uncover the remains of an original Tudor garden and banqueting house – and you can be part of it.

What’s buried at Sudeley Castle?

For nearly a thousand years, Sudeley Castle has been home to some of England’s most famous monarchs. Starting with Goda, daughter of King Ethelred the Unready, the castle was later occupied by Richard III, who built its magnificent banqueting hall, and then by King Charles I, who made it his temporary base during the English Civil War.

But it was the Tudors who really made Sudeley their own: it’s where Anne Boleyn stayed with Henry VIII while he made his decision to dissolve the monasteries, and most famously where Kateryn Parr, Henry’s last wife, later lived and was buried.

It’s also where, in 1592, Elizabeth I came to celebrate the anniversary of her victory over the Spanish Armada; a three-day party that nearly bankrupted her host, Lord Chandos, and is remembered as one of the longest in English royal history.

Whether there was an ornate temporary structure purpose-built for her, a permanent Banqueting House, or even if the entire garden itself was built to honour her visit remains to be discovered.

Tudor Gardens

Despite their reputation as being elaborate and extravagant, hardly any Tudor gardens actually survive. Most were destroyed during the 18th and 19th centuries by Capability Brown and the fashion for landscaped gardens; having remained mostly empty and out of court life since Sudeley’s slighting after the Dissolution, the gardens escaped this fate, and were lain undisturbed for centuries.

Tudor gardens were extremely important in court life, viewed as an extension of living space and utilised for exercise as well as privacy – after all, one could not be overheard whilst out on the open – and its not outside the realm of possibility that Henry VIII may have made his momentous decision regarding the Dissolution of the Monasteries whilst walking the paths at Sudeley.

The ‘ghost garden’ at Sudeley Castle is one of perhaps only two in the entire country where portions of the original paths still appear to be in place.

Digging Deeper

DigVentures’ excavations at Sudeley Castle began thanks to the castle’s Head Gardener, Stephen Torode, who had noticed that one of the large, untended fields to the side of the castle was filled with noticeable lumps and bumps. Castle records from the 19th century stated that owner Emma Dent Brocklehurst had found several pieces of ornate masonry in the middle of the field; so, out of curiosity, Stephen commissioned a series of topographic and geophysics surveys. The results were astonishing: the unmistakeable, geometric outline of a formal Tudor garden.

In October 2018, DigVentures carried out a preliminary investigation to test the depth and character of the archaeology across the site in advance of larger trenches. We discovered a substantial clay platform in the centre of the field, clearly man-made, and very similar to those on which a banqueting house or a viewing platform would have been constructed. The evaluation also showed ‘made ground’, or a ground surface that had clearly been intentionally laid, at a uniform depth and consistency across the site. Had we found the garden pathways? All that remained to confirm it was to find an edge.

Our team was back on site in May 2019 for two full weeks, to further investigate the features that were so clearly apparent on the geophysics survey. When we were first asked to try and unearth evidence of the beautiful Tudor garden and banqueting house where the festivities are thought to have taken place, it sounded like an impossible challenge – it’s not easy to find traces of a garden that’s been lost for over 400 years!

To our absolute delight, our trenches revealed the foundations of a very substantial wall, along with pottery, bones, and impressive pieces of decorative masonry. Their location fits perfectly with where you’d expect to find a banqueting house according to a classic Tudor garden layout. Then, we discovered an enormous circular platform, surrounded by an even bigger circular ditch, which we now think was the show-stopping centre-piece of the original Tudor garden where the festivities took place.

What next?

Our research at Sudeley Castle has really just begun, and Team DV is headed back into the field at Sudeley on 1st June 2020. By the time the DigNation festival weekend arrives, we are sure to have even more exciting new evidence hot from the trenches – if you join us at the festival, you’ll be one of the first people to hear what our team has found in this fantastic Tudor time capsule. See you there!

Want to dig with us at Sudeley Castle? Try a DigNation Dig or Finds Experience during the festival weekend, or find out how you can join the main dig taking place from 02 – 08 June 2020.

Watch our dig videos to find out more about our previous discoveries 👇

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ticket types

There’s so much going on at DigNation: talks from top Tudor researchers, fun-filled Fringe events and activities across the castle grounds, livestreaming, podcasting, and trenches heaving with *live* archaeology!

Scroll down for a description of each ticket type, or book one right now.

Saturday Ticket

Includes:

  • Entry to see the Saturday speakers
  • Entry to Sudeley Castle grounds and Fringe events on Saturday

Does not include:

  • Dig or Finds Experience
  • Sunday entry
  • Festival Goodies
  • Virtual Ticket
Sunday Ticket

Includes:

  • Entry to see the Sunday speakers
  • Entry to Sudeley Castle grounds and Fringe events on Sunday

Does not include:

  • Dig or Finds Experience
  • Saturday entry
  • Festival Goodies
  • Virtual Ticket
Weekend Ticket

Includes:

  • Entry to see the speakers on Saturday AND Sunday
  • Entry to Sudeley Castle grounds and Fringe events on Saturday AND Sunday

Does NOT include:

  • Dig or Finds Experience
  • Festival Goodies
  • Virtual Ticket
Dig Experience Ticket (add-on)

Want to try archaeology? Fancy making your very own Tudor discovery? You can book a two-hour Dig Experience to excavate alongside our team. You’ll have a friendly archaeologist at your side, showing you how to excavate while you help to unearth the lost Tudor garden.

Includes:

  • Entry to the Dig Experience at an allotted time
  • Entry to Sudeley Castle grounds and Fringe events on the day of your Dig Experience

You will be able to select your date and timeslot once you get to checkout. Your choices are:
– Saturday 10:00 – 13:00
– Saturday 14:00 – 17:00
– Sunday 10:00 – 13:00
Sunday 14:00 – 17:00

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to see the speakers
  • Virtual Ticket
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

Please note, you do NOT need a day or weekend ticket to book a Dig Experience – you can do this as a stand-alone event.

Finds Experience Ticket (add-on)

Want to get hands-on with real Tudor artefacts? Fancy learning more about the discoveries fresh from the dig? You can book a two-hour Finds Experience with our team. You’ll have a friendly Finds expert at your side, showing you how to clean and identify artefacts that have recently been excavated.

Includes:

  • Entry to the Finds Experience at your allotted time
  • Entry to Sudeley Castle grounds and Fringe events on the day of your Finds Experience

You will be able to select your date and timeslot once you get to checkout. Your choices are:
– Saturday 10:00 – 13:00
– Saturday 14:00 – 17:00
– Sunday 10:00 – 13:00
– Sunday 14:00 – 17:00

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to see the speakers
  • Virtual Ticket
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

Please note, you do NOT need a day or weekend ticket to book a Finds Experience – you can do this as a stand-alone event.

Virtual Ticket

Includes:

  • A login to watch livestreams of the festival talks

You will also be able to re-watch the talks after the festival, once they have been uploaded.

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to see the speakers
  • Entry to Sudeley Castle grounds and Fringe events
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

You will receive an email with your login details in early June 2020.

Festival Goodies (add on ) - coming soon!

Includes:

  • DigNation T-shirt
  • DigNation badges

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to Sudeley Castle grounds and Fringe events
  • Entry to see the speakers
  • Virtual Ticket
Fringe-only Tickets

Fringe-only tickets will be available to buy through the Sudeley Castle website. Please note that these will NOT provide any access to see the speakers, or take part in a Dig or Finds Experience.

Got questions about travel, accommodation, and what to expect? We’ve got answers!

What time is the festival?

Talks will run from 9am – 5pm, and registration will open at 8am. We’ll send out more details about the exact timings for each talk closer the event.

When will I get my Festival tickets?

We aren’t sending out paper or e-tickets – we’re operating guest list style, and you will receive your entry badge when your arrive at Registration.

When will I get my Virtual Tickets?

VERY IMPORTANT: We will send your password to the email address that you used to purchase your ticket. If this is not a current address or one that you check regularly, you MUST get in touch with our team prior to the event to provide updated information.

Will I be able to watch the talks online after the event?

Yes, all of the talks will be available to watch online to anyone who bought a Day, Weekend, or Virtual Ticket.

What are the options for food at Sudeley Castle?

Sudeley’s Castle Kitchen restaurant, located in the main castle area, offers a range of delicious choices with its locally sourced, seasonal menu. This includes freshly prepared sandwiches, light lunches, a selection of cakes and scones and an ever-changing variety of hot meals. The restaurant closes at 3.30pm. Hot food service stops at 2.30pm.

Castle Kitchen Pantry

A range of light bites and snacks are also available from the Castle Kitchen Pantry, within the Visitor Centre at the entrance to Sudeley Castle. The Castle Pantry is the perfect pit-stop for cyclists and walkers, being well-placed on Winchcombe’s vast network of public footpaths. Castle admission tickets are not needed to visit the Pantry, which has an indoor garden room and an outdoor terrace seating area.

Dogs are welcome in the Visitor Centre and in the Castle Kitchen Pantry.

Cotswold Afternoon Tea at Sudeley Castle

Cotswold afternoon tea is also available to make your visit to Sudeley Castle extra special. Enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, delicious scones served with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of locally made, handcrafted patisserie. Why not indulge in a glass of champagne or prosecco while you’re here?

Afternoon tea is subject to availability and must be booked 48 hours in advance. Afternoon Tea is served in the Castle Kitchen restaurant – as this is located within the castle, an admission ticket for each person is also required.

No matter what you decide, please be respectful and ensure you throw your rubbish away in the bins!

How do I get there (travel options)?

Full address: Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire  GL54 5JD

By Car

Sudeley Castle & Gardens is situated near Winchcombe, 8 miles north east of Cheltenham on the B4632 (A46) or just 10 miles from junction 9 of the M5. For Satnavs, our postcode is GL54 5LP.

Sudeley offer ample FREE parking and disabled parking.

By Bus

Bus services operate between Winchcombe and Cheltenham or Broadway. You can travel to Sudeley Castle with Stagecoach on their W bus service, or with Pulhams on their 606 service.

By Train

The closest train station to Sudeley Castle & Gardens is Cheltenham Spa.

There is also a Winchcombe Station Shuttle Service, from the GWSR train station to Winchcombe Town and the Castle. This service is run by, A Private Hire, and operates when the trains are running.

Contact Information for travel to the Castle ONLY

(all DigNation Festival inquiries to hello@digventures.com or +44 333 011 3990)

Recorded Information: 01242 604357

Visitor Centre: 01242 604244

Is there parking available?

Sudeley Castle has a large, free visitor car park next to the Visitor Centre with designated disabled car parking spaces available near the castle.

Can I still visit Sudeley Castle if I don't have a DigNation Festival ticket?

Yes, you can still visit the castle grounds without a DigNation Festival ticket.

During DigNation Festival weekend, you will still be able to enter with a standard entrance fee for Sudeley Castle. This will enable you to enjoy the castle grounds, garden tours, and archaeology tours – but will not grant you access to see the festival speakers, or to take part in the dig (you need to purchase DigNation Festival tickets for these).

More information about visiting Sudeley Castle can be found here, including prices, opening hours, and discounted online booking.

Can I bring children?

Yes, children are welcome, but you need to buy tickets for any children that are aged 12+ if you want to watch the speaker talks.

Can I bring my dog?

We regret that dogs are not allowed in the castle grounds or gardens – including the children’s play area – apart from registered assistance dogs. Dogs are welcome at the Visitor Centre and cafe.

Where can I stay (accommodation)?

The Cotswolds are a very popular tourist destination and in the summer months, accommodation can book up extremely quickly. We recommend that you book your accommodation as soon as possible.

Options for every budget in the area include hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, and camping. The full address of the castle is: Sudeley Castle & Gardens Gloucestershire, Winchcombe GL54 5JD.

A quick internet search will turn up lots of options, and you can also plan your visit to Winchcombe through Inspirock Trip Planner or Cotswolds.com.

What does my ticket include?

Please check the ‘Get Tickets’ tab for full details.

How do I contact DigVentures if I still have questions?

By email: hello@digventures.com

Telephone: +44 333 011 3990

Find us on twitter: @thedigventurers

DigNation Festival was first launched in 2018. Hosted by Sir Tony Robinson, the inaugural event had an early medieval dig at the heart of it, and was enjoyed by history and archaeology fans from all over the world

The very first DigNation festival was a special celebration of one of the most inspiring archaeologists of our generation: Professor Mick Aston. As the lead archaeologist on Time Team, and throughout his career, he was an advocate for public engagement in archaeology and a force for change in opening up the field for public enjoyment.

Hosted by Sir Tony Robinson, the speaker line-up included Carenza Lewis, Francis Pryor, Helen Geake, Phil Harding, Julian Richards, Theresa Hall, John Gater, and many more.

Alongside talks from some of the UK’s most famous archaeologists and historians, a real archaeological dig, and fund Fringe Events, we livestreamed the whole thing to fans around the world as part of our commitment to honouring Mick’s belief in making archaeology accessible to all.

Highlights from 2018

Time Team panel debate
Sir Tony Robinson
Carenza Lewis
Helen Geake
Livestreamed talks
Fringe events
An amazing audience!
Dig Experiences
Finds Room Experiences
Francis Pryor
Stewart Ainsworth
Live archaeological discoveres

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